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Former US President Barack Obama has been holding back since taking office. It was just a coincidence that the guy who inspired the Democrats gave one of his rare public appearances in Beverly Hills on Thursday night, during a week that was most daunting for the members of his party.
With Justice, Anthony Kennedy Announces Wednesday His Retirement Democrats have had to face the fact that President Trump will receive a second appeal to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, the Supreme Court has ruled against unions this week and upheld Trump's ban on travelers from several countries, most of whom are Muslims. And the outcry over the separation of migrant families on the border was with no end in sight.
For a few hundred wealthy Democrats, Obama's visit to Southern California could not have been more topical. They gathered in the garden of two big democratic donors. There were really only two items on the agenda: absorbing the Obama inspiration and making an important contribution to the Democratic National Committee. The tickets started at $ 2,700 and went up to $ 100,000, which bought five Primo seats at dinner, a photo with the former president and a position on the DNC Finance Committee.
It was a casual, interview-like demeanor that lasted just over 45 minutes. Obama wore a dark jacket and an open shirt. He shared the stage with DNC Chairman Tom Perez. Almost every moment of their discussion focused on the hopes of the Democrats for the coming halves.
Perez propagated the victories that the Democrats already had in state and special elections. But Obama said, "I would warn against extrapolating too much of a series of special elections." It would be a mistake to believe that the momentum of a handful of victories in November would guarantee success, he said.
"We need to get organized," said the former community organizer. "We must systematically proceed with the registration of voters."
An important point of the evening was the question of how to motivate people to go to the polls. Perez was particularly interested in producing younger voters who were crucial to Obama's electoral victory, but who are generally less likely to vote than older ones.
"The most important thing we can do," said Obama, "invites and empowers them, give them a voice," he said. Older people tend to think that they know best. But Obama advised, "Include young people and avoid them."
And not only young people have to choose. "If people attend and vote," Obama said, "then democracy will work."
The one really dark moment came at the beginning of the conversation, as Obama and Perez confirmed filming earlier in the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland of the five people were killed.
"What happened in Annapolis seems to happen every few weeks and months," Obama said. "Every time one of these tragedies strikes, we remember that this is avoidable, it is not inevitable." America is not the only country with troubled, violent people, he said, but "we are unique in the weapons that these people can use."
To look at the wider political picture, Obama said, "This is a moment of great urgency." You are right to be worried. The progress we have made is not self-evident. "
He told her not to sit back and wait for a candidate to sweep her away." Do not wait for the perfect message. Do not wait to feel a tingling sensation in your spine, because you expect politicians to be so inspiring, poetic, and moving. "
The former president said it was more important to reach voters." Concern for [if] us have local organizers. "
The candidates who care about these things, he said, are the ones who will win.